Messersmith, G.S. Memorandum to Secretary [Cordell Hull] and Undersecretary [Sumner Welles].

Messersmith, George S. (George Strausser), 1883-1960.
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Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Attended dinner at Knickerbocker Club given by Hamilton Fish Armstrong for Dr. [Eduard] Benes, former President of Czechoslovakia; other guests were chiefly editors and publishers; everyone struck by objectivity Benes displayed and by frankness of his replies to questions; asked about Russian strength he said it would be mistake to leave Russia out of consideration; he considered Russian Army a powerful instrument, that 80 divisions were available for service on German frontier without weakening strength in Siberia; high ranking Czech officers who had visited Russia convinced Russia could fight a war on both fronts; on western frontier, he said, Russia had triple line of strong fortifications; he had been told on good authority, Russia had 18,000 planes; he did not think Russian Government would contemplate any arrangement with Germany, but situation could change; Benes was opposed to Four Power pact or any pact leaving Russia out of the picture; asked by one of the guests whether Czechoslovakia, by better treatment of German minority, could not have avoided events of last year, Benes replied there was nothing Czechoslovakia could have done; even the German Minister there had told him it was not a question of treatment of German minority, but that Czechoslovakia was in Germany's way, her position had to be broken down, and the German minority was means of attack.
Messersmith, George S. (George Strausser), 1883-1960.